What a weekend!!
Saturday started with David (a sport pilot AND glider pilot) landing at our field to take a look at our operations. He is interested in getting back into motorless flight. Dave was quick to get him setup to return Sunday for some flights in the Lark. We decided upon a new tow rope and longer length of 230' which solved some of our propwash issues from the Cessna on takeoff. Thanks to Eric for getting everything together with it. Much less turbulence on takeoff and no dropped wings! However, don't forget weak links must be installed on the sailplane end of the new 2000 lb tow rope for both the Schweizer ring and the Tost ring setups.
Saturday got started with 5/8 cloud cover around 3200' AGL. Nonetheless Dave led the pack in the ASW 19 marking the lift for Greg and myself and we were able to squeeze out some nice flights. Dave in 19 once again defied gravity and stayed up until he decided he had had his fill. Greg put away the lark and flew the 1-26 beautifully only landing because he had to leave for work. I launched in 15H twice and got some great practice. Vince showed up and we pulled out the 2-33 for some flights. It's always great to have both Schweizers in the sky. The last glider landed past 5 pm. It was a great day of flying. Smiles all around.
Sunday was another beautiful day but without clouds. Gentle breezes around 5 kts and a strong inversion at 3500' with weak but workable lift that started around 1 pm. Dave as PIC and Eric the "making it all possible" tow pilot started out the day at 12:30 pm with two tows in the Lark to bring our newest member David up for some soaring. No lift yet but beautiful take off and landings. David seemed like he was loving it! David then got some refreshing on running ground ops and helped to launch myself, Stefan and Dave around 1:45pm. The Lark was not hanging well with the spotty narrow lift and came down after a valiant effort by Stefan. I fared only a bit better in 15H and landed after an hour or so. However, wanting more, I quickly got a relight around 3:30pm from Eric w/ David running the wing. Eric brought me right to the sweet spot which Dave had centered and we again did some great team soaring late into the afternoon. At about 4:45 pm I was in 15H at 1300' AGL headed North to enter the pattern. I was hoping for a longer flight but figured the lift was done. Before pulling the brakes though I spotted a Turkey vulture soaring above the dairy farm SW of Merlin at about 1000' ft. Hoping for just a small flight extension I redirected towards him and felt a bump. After some scratching around I linked up and together we climbed to 3000' ft. Nothing quite describes the feeling of sharing a thermal with a bird that effortlessly out climbs you! The battery in 15H was dead so I used my cellphone to call Eric to make sure they weren't concerned just as I topped out around 5:15pm. I landed after 5:30pm smiling ear to ear.